CIP Code: 8306 (231302-01)
The English Ph.D. program is designed to provide the student with a broad knowledge of the field and a high degree of specialization in the major area. While making a comprehensive study of English and American language and literature, the student should discover an area of special interest. Advanced work in that area should lead to the dissertation topic. The student may pursue concentrations in (1) Creative Writing, (2) Folklore, (3) Linguistics, or (4) Rhetoric. The special requirements for these areas are available from the Department of English.
A student may enter the program directly from the baccalaureate (see Admissions under M.A. program), but it is strongly advised that the M.A. degree be completed as part of the program. In addition to GRE scores (General Test), three letters of recommendation, and transcripts, applicants must submit a critical writing sample (10-20 pages), a statement of purpose, and a curriculum vitae. Students applying to the Creative Writing Concentration need to submit as well a creative writing sample (10-20 pages),
- Students must complete a minimum of 72 hours of graduate credit (including a minimum of 24 hours for dissertation), exclusive of the research methods course, above the baccalaureate.
- A minimum of 48 of these hours must be in courses at the 400(G), 500, and 600 levels in the following areas of study. At least 24 of these hours must be at the 500/600 level.
||English Literature to ca. 1500
||English Literature of the Renaissance
||English Literature of the Restoration and Eighteenth Century
||British Literature, of the Nineteenth Century
||British Literature from ca. 1900 to the Present
||American Literature to ca. 1900
||American Literature from ca. 1900 to the Present
||Rhetoric and Composition Studies
||Open Topic/Major Genre (e.g., Fiction, Drama, Poetry)
Students are urged to plan early and continuously, with the help of graduate advisors and the Graduate Coordinator, for adequate course work before their written examinations.
- Students must complete at least 12 semester hours of 500/600-level literature courses:
- At least one course must be on American literature;
- At least one course must be on British literature;
- At least one course must be on pre-1800 literature;
- The remaining course(s) can be any 500/600-level literature courses.
4. Students must complete at least 21 post-M.A. credit hours of course work in this department by the semester before the General Comprehensive Examination (see below) is scheduled.
5. Students must complete ENGL 596 Research Methods , or an approved equivalent.
6. Students must complete ENGL 500 Professional Colloquium in each of their first two semesters.
7. Students must complete 6 hours from any of the following courses:
In addition to a command of English, the student must demonstrate reading knowledge of two other languages or advanced reading competency in one other language.
Reading knowledge of Old English may be demonstrated by successfully completing 4 semester hours in Old English at the graduate (500-600) level, either during the graduate program in English at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette or within the last six years prior to entering the Ph. D. program.
Reading knowledge of other languages may be established in one of the following ways:
- satisfactory completion of an appropriate language requirement in an M.A. or other post-baccalaureate program;
- presentation of evidence of having completed, within the past six years prior to entering the English Ph.D. program at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, the second semester, sophomore-level college course in an approved language with a grade no lower than C; the course work may be taken while the student is attending the University of Louisiana at Lafayette;
- successful completion of a reading knowledge examination designed and administered by appropriate faculty in the Department of Modern Languages or;
- presentation of a satisfactory score on the Graduate School Foreign Language Test administered by the Educational Testing Service.
Advanced reading competency in Old English may be demonstrated by passing with a grade of B or better 6 semester hours in Old English at the graduate (500-600) level, either during the graduate program in English at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette or within the last five years prior to entering the Ph.D. program.
Advanced reading competency in other languages may be demonstrated in one of the following ways:
- passing a test designed and administered by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Modern Languages Department; or
- passing with a grade of B or better 9 semester hours in the target language at the junior or senior (300-400) level, or 6 hours at the graduate (500-600) level within the last five years prior to entering the Ph.D. program in English at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. These courses may be taken while the student is attending the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
General Comprehensive Examination
After completing all coursework and language requirements, every student, regardless of the concentration, is tested in four areas of study elected by the student. This general comprehensive examination will includes one examination in a primary area, one examination in each of three secondary areas, and a final oral examination. After passing all four area examinations, students must schedule the oral examination to take place before the end of the semester in which the area exams are completed. Further regulations governing these examinations are available from the Department of English.
On the basis of performance on these examinations, the student will be (1) passed unconditionally, (2) required to repeat examination(s), or in the case of repeated failure (3) deemed ineligible to continue the Ph.D. program. Any student ineligible to continue may appeal the English Graduate Committee's decision to the Graduate Council's Appeals Committee. A student who passes unconditionally may be awarded a pass "with distinction" if the primary exam is independently passed with distinction by two examiners, if all secondary exams have received at least a grade of pass by all examiners, if a majority of total examiners independently pass the exams with distinction, and if the oral examination is passed.
As soon as possible after beginning graduate study, a Ph.D. student should elect a field of specialization and, in consultation with a specialist in that field, select some problem for investigation. In the semester following successful completion of the General Comprehensive Examination, the student should submit a prospectus for the dissertation. The candidate should begin this step early enough to allow for its approval by mid-October when examinations were completed the previous spring or mid-March when examinations were completed the previous fall. The Chair of the student's dissertation committee, in consultation with other committee members, will then recommend to the Dean of the Graduate School that the student's dissertation committee be approved. This committee will direct the candidate through the final stages of the program. The dissertation may be a work of literary or linguistic scholarship on a single subject, a literary biography, a work concerned with the history of ideas or American or English studies. Creative writing students submit an original work of literature with supporting critical/theoretical commentary. The dissertation should meet the minimum standards for publication. The specific requirements for Creative Writing, Folklore, Linguistics or Rhetoric concentrations are available from the Department of English.
Final Oral Examination
When the dissertation has been completed and approved by the dissertation committee, the committee will conduct a final oral examination of the candidate. The examination will be devoted to a defense of the dissertation and to related matters.